Sticks and Stones

I looked at my back yard, once buying the property and knew I needed a fire pit. We had many memories around the fire and so many left in ashes. I knew it would take me some time to complete it and I knew it would be somewhat of a emotional milestone for me. Embracing the moment, I dug in. I shifted the dirt around, dug a hole, and moved the stones. I could feel the different sizes of clay, rock, or clumps moving from mound to mound, forming something that was once unusable to now something of use.

It was emotional. It was hard work too. I was hot and sweaty. As I dug the memories of fire side chats came up, like flames from warm over-night embers. The calm state of peace that comes over me while doing yard work settled within me and the flames of my past grew even warmer. Finally, I admitted I missed you.

We weren't that far off. Not many people understood you, but I did to a degree. I didn't always agree with you and you were somewhat okay with those differences. Not many liked you, but I gave you a chance. Even after all of this I can still say, I'm glad I did. You reminded me of someone. Someone who, did not give me a chance. I can't say I whole heartily gave them one either being so much history between us. And now they are gone...as well.

So giving into trust, I gave you a chance. Went out on a limb for someone who was trying. I give you credit for at least trying. I understand your wanting for friendships and welcoming everyone into the fold. Always inviting and gathering friends together. For a time, I felt there was something sweet about it. Yet, in the back of my mind I wondered if you too would turn on me. I thought those feelings were trust issues. Even still I set boundaries, so that I would protect not only myself and family, but the relationship I thought ours "could" be...I thought down the road, it could be something deeper. First crops are never the hardiest; mature plants are nurtured.

And now I understand, it was not I who let her guard down or allowed you pass the boundary.

It was you, who never set any.

I understand you were doing the best you knew how to do at the time. I understand the confusion you must have felt. I understand that your nature or normal way of dealing with others was not what was needed at the time, but the only tools you had to work with. I understand and know your heartache, a friend was lost to another realm and another lost by choice mere miles away. I still pray for your heart, as silly as that sounds, but really, I do.

Dear One, wash over me in kindness and make my words clear. I lift up those who have hurt me and I pray I understand their choices and their fear. I pray that they will one day understand my decision to end the friendship. That one day they will quietly admit their wrong doings. Reveal to them the things you have opened my eyes to see, and show them where I too went wrong. Place on their hearts the tears I shed for them, for the events of the night, and the guilt I place on myself for not doing more to stop them. Press into them the deep tissues of tears from my heart and that they are not only for my beloved. Share with them the image that I so clearly saw and that my words or thought process are not rooted in bitterness, but one of truth. I beg of You, with heavy heart, share with them the pain I feel for the choices they have made that will haunt them. Guide me grace and send it to them; That they feel the hug of forgiveness I will never be able to physically give to them. Rest in them the understanding that my heart is not one of self-righteousness, but one that deeply, deeply longs for everyone to simply be nice to one another. Ultimately loving one another. Show them I've always wanted to just do the right thing, not just because I was told to do it, but because nothing else feels as good as a heart full of pure intentions. Ultimate love. I lift these intentions up to you, Lord, in Your Holy name of Love. Amen.

I finished the pit. I buried my anger within the rocks and the dirt. I prayed with every clump of dirt that the fires of our future would refine the jagged edges of my heart. With every flame melting away the scars of bitterness; refiners fire and mold the scars around the new heart of forgiveness. I saw a vision of new fires, with bright faces laughing and singing, and tending to the flames with as much care as I. Even though a fire was not built that night, I welcomed my guest with a heart of trust even with boundaries up. My son's smile was the first to see the flames and it was a start.


1953 days later....grow UPdate

Todd Willoughby is still a liar. His wife, Kim Willoughby, supports him. Which means she is also a liar, weak, or both...probably both. Josh Price is still equally as weak, I "assure" you. ;) Not to mention his wife Rachel Price...just sheep following sheep.

No growth in any of these human beings, which is sad. I'm not trying to be rude, unkind, or mean...it's simply the truth. And it might make you mad, or sick of hearing it, and maybe that will urge you to do something about it. I would have been just fine with one, "I'm sorry." That's growth.

But yet again, I hear an excuse for another day. I and others, who love Russell, are pushed aside for nothing. Just to wait on others, who don't want growth. They want the same ole, same ole...just drive it like you stole it, right!?! A motto you can't even claim anymore, because it speaks volumes of your immature character and how quickly you drove around the curve. Steal what you cannot grow yourself. Drive, because you have none, of any real purpose that is. Lie about who you are, cause you cannot stand to see what you are really made of...nothing worth speaking of to begin with.

My personally growth is a different story, one I keep to myself because it is all I have left. BUT I am doing pretty freaking fantastic. Considering, I've been through more crap, more heartache, more errands, more housework, more work, more counseling, more praying, more forgiving, more loving, than any of those people have ever done, probably in their lives! AND maybe that's WHY! (Different breeds at different speeds; grow UP!)

With this perspective I still have hope, that a child will make a decision to act like an adult and end this sham.


"20 Seconds of Courage!"

I yelled at a man over a parking lot. I was not angry. I was pleading with the only broken heart that can end the misery he started. There were hedges and 40 yard between us. I stood in a circle. This time he was just walking away.

The night before I watched "We Bought a Zoo" with my children. They had seen it before and Lilli wanted me to watch the movie. I couldn't make it through the first time, too many memories surfaced under my scars. They were excited about the movie and felt a connection with the two children characters, so I made myself watch. Walking into the kitchen at some points, squeezing the kitchen sink hoping that it will hold me up, remembering the pain, depression, and deep hole left in my heart after our loss, and then returning with a red face and popcorn. Remembering my children's first months without their Daddy, and trying to heal "my littles" with whatever strength I had left in me at the time. I MADE myself watch the movie, because it was important to my children.

I do not enjoy going to calendar calls. I do not even have any satisfaction from seeing the face of the driver or him seeing mine. My hands and voice shake so much so I want to scream. My heart beats so fast, it makes me mad it's not for something fun. I want to throw up. I MAKE myself attend these painful 10 minute to hour long sessions of hogwash, because my children deserve an answer from SOMEONE! When all this is said and done SOMEONE will answer the hard questions about EVERY detail of this drama, and I will be able to say I SHOWED up and did not RUN AWAY.

As hard as it is, it makes me stronger and the honesty leads to great unbelievable happiness in the depths of the heart of my family. I would not be able to "make our happy loud" if I ignored the painful truth of our past. Is your happy loud? Do your children hear you laughing without the worry of your heart crying out to be free? What do you want your life statement to be? As hard as it is, I want my babies to know I uphold the vows I promised to my late beloved to this day, for better or worse, sickness and health, love, honor, cherish, and through sitting in calendar calls and trials without his physical presence beside me IN HONOR of our WORD. For better or worse, it takes courage and I pray for it every single day I wake up. Courage to be honest throughout my days.

I honestly want your life statement to be something of worth and not failure. Running away is failure, bro. Running past your house and further from the scene"for help", because the thought of me still being at your house is failure, bro. Turning around takes courage. Yesterday, I saw the first cry of a lying heart. You MADE yourself turn around, good job.

"20 seconds of COURAGE!" He is still walking away. "20 SECONDS of COURAGE!" Forty yards from me, he turns his body to my direction. "Instead of 52 minutes of FAILURE! That's all I have to say to you, Bro. Peace Out."


Making it Home

I have always wanted to be is a mother, a momma, and sometimes a "MOM"! Naturally, being a stay at home mom suited me to a tee. I took pride in being a stay at home wife and mother. Many years ago I read a piece of advice, "the world is full of chaos, your home should be a place of peace." In my opinion, as a wife and mother it was my job to be the CEO of my home. For the most part we were at peace; that is not saying everything was "perfect". Peace, we knew working together on our strengths and weakness would yeild a larger and greater harvest for our family. Peace.

Of course, three years ago our family and home came to a hault. Rebuilding has been a process. Learning the responsibilities of a single widowed mother of two, along with EVERYTHING else has been...well, it's been a challenge. But God thinks I can do it, and do it well in His honor...so I will. I am so blessed by the progress the kids and I have been making in the past years. We are learning together how our tragic experience opens a world of honesty we are happy to share with each other. Our goals as a family unit and as members of our community are shaping back into what we once remember them to be and sometimes even better!! It's amazing how truth, realistic goals, and positive attitudes will weed the junk from your life and yeild better fruit. I feel kind of silly about sharing, but I've posted so much emotional "BLAH"...my followers deserve some "AH-HA!"

Mind you we've always followed these ideas, charts, and strategies within our home, but I haven't been able to organize them fully. Being organized helps me keep the peace. I found a great quote that explains, "Organized people tend to see more clearly how their environment affects their emotional well-being." ME ME ME. I am pretty in tuned to what goes on around me, what adds to our life and growth, and what sucks the life from us.  I am so proud of the kids for helping me with this simple project. IT HELPS!
Look how pleased they look. ;) At the top are good works at school, in the middle simple instructions for things I don't think I should have to repeat (tidy room list, math and reading homework checklist), and bottom level a list of our family rules and consequences, morning/evening routines, and chore list. All these sheets are laminated so they are easy to write on or clean. This really helps Ike because of his ADHD and Lilli because she is a girl. :) This collection is in our hall way and can be seen from their bedroom doors.

Now on to my projects! Please beware of how nerdy I really am...I am coming out of the CLOSET!!!
Because my hall closet is so small I use it as office space rather than winter coat space. I've had the small white file cabinet since we moved into this house. As well as, the closet organizer that some use for clothes I use for supplies. What I'm really happy about are the noteboooks on the top shelf. I use to have everything in the cabinet, but it just was not working. Now all important and active papers are in notebooks for easy reach. I found the hanging file on the door at target, and this helps me to file new mail until I can get it into it's home folder. I wish everything "matched" a little better, but you work with what you have.
 I have a notebook for most everything, investments, my major policies, kids major records, personal, etc. I'm not going to bore you with every single one, just a few. The ones above are Art, Meal Plan, HouseHold, and Budget. At first I thought the colorful paper would be cheesy, but it helps the boring task of organizing.
 Our household notebook has everything current, family information, to do ASAP, important documents that are needed for a short time, school, honey do list, travel plans, misc, and birthday/party plans.
 Next is my Budget. I've been on the Dave Ramsey plan for years and my old notebook broke because of the use. A small tip for any Dave Ramsey followers, laminate the monthly budget chart which makes it easier to erase and fill out your budget with a dry erase marker every month. Saving on printing cost and paper...earth friendly and cheap!
 Next, my art notebook. Yes, it's like pinterest, and I've had these clips, crafting ideas, and photos for more than 5yrs. telling myself, "One of these days I'm going to do....." The coolest part is some of the home decor ideas I clipped out have taken shape in my home. I love seeing progress!
Lastly, is my Meal Planning notebook. This was a major task for me 2 years before Russell died. I was on a mission to serve healthy meals to my family within our budget without stress. I did it! But unfortunatlly in the move I did not hold on to the record. Oh well, new flavors and dishes are on the way! Cooking is not as natural to me as dancing, so I work really hard to make it effortless. Planning helps to remove the stress of what I will cook and focus more on the act of cooking, serving, and enjoying the meal with my family.

Glad to share something different for a change! Happy Home Making!



To grant those who mourn in Zion,
Giving them a garland instead of ashes,
The oil of gladness instead of mourning,
The mantle of praise instead of a spirit of fainting.
So they will be called oaks of righteousness,
The planting of the LORD, that He may be glorified
Isaiah 61:3

I've been praying to get to this point. This view from this angle on the mountain. This place of gratitude.
Standing in glory, rooted in a stance of amazement, and awe struck wonder in Your every word.
I pray for these times together.
That place of all parts of me for all parts of You and the purity of Love shines through. 
My arms can't help but lift in the direction of You. With my every move You are caressing me in comfort.
My Love, I've missed this union.
All the parts of me, love all the parts of You.
I understand even more now than ever I am your bride.
More than anything I pray and long for the closest of Oneness an earthly walk will blossom with my Passion.
You exemplify the word, and Your direction in love is my life blood.
I thank you for this time; This time of gratitude for the journey handed to me, entrusted to me, and a slice of glory to share...in Love.
My words, my thoughts, my prayers coming back to me, echoing. Reminding me the present is my answer.
My answer and I'm bathing in it, Sweet Jesus, I am.
Moved by You so deeply, so gracefully.
I don't want to want; I don't want to dance, fall, or collapse.
Bask. So often I dismiss the simple luxury of Your spiritual presence.
I want to bask in Your presence and get Lifted.
Closing my eyes and wondering towards You.
We rise above and the weights of fleshly life are released.
We are united. All the parts of me, love all the parts of You.
Love is such a common word used to explain this feeling.
I'm common so it works. I am humbled so it works even more.
The purest form of agape running circles around my wounds.
Love In, Peace Out. Love Out, Peace In.

I will rejoice greatly in the LORD,
My soul will exult in my God;
For He has clothed me with garments of salvation,
He has wrapped me with a robe of righteousness,
As a bridegroom decks himself with a garland,
And as a bride adorns herself with her jewels.
For as the earth brings forth its sprouts,
And as a garden causes the things sown in it to spring up,
So the Lord GOD will cause righteousness and praise
To spring up before all the nations.
Isaiah 61:10-11